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UPDATE: Richmond landmark Perly’s abruptly closes doors, for good

Perly’s (PHOTO: Greg McQuade)

Perly’s (PHOTO: Greg McQuade)

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UPDATED 9/11/13
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -Thursday, the news shot through social media and local websites: Perly’s restaurant had abruptly closed its doors after a 50 year run.

The news was delivered grimly, by a note on the door. The current owner, of 29 years, Gray Wyatt, wrote: “Perlys has hit a rough patch. I am hoping to sort it out but must close for now.”

For days Richmonders questioned if the closure was permanent, and were hopeful things could be sorted out.

Nathan Hughes, a commercial real estate agent and VP/Sales Manager with Bandazian & Holden, tweeted the official news Tuesday evening. Perly’s Restaurant, the business and the building, is for sale on the market. Hughes confirmed that the asking price is $498,000 for both.

Located in the 100 block of East Grace street downtown, the breakfast and lunch spot ebbed and flowed through five decades of diverse clientele: Thalhimers, Miller & Rhoads,  Richmond News Leaders and Times-Dispatch crowds, downtown business clients, and even state Senator Tim Kaine would be spotted holding court at the landmark diner when he was governor.

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Tim Kaine was a fan of Perly’s. Though the Royal Family did not eat there on their Virginia visit, Kaine signed this picture for “the great folks at Perly’s.”

Buttery biscuit cravings and low blood sugar-esque temper tantrums erupted throughout the city when the dining new broke.

Karri Peifer, Richmond.com editor and senior food writer said that “everyone was shocked.” “It’s been in Richmond for 50 years and it suddenly just closed.”

Throughout the day no one could say with certainty why Perly’s closed.

Peifer pointed out that the dining scene in Richmond has certainly changed, and speculated that Perly’s “didn’t keep up with the times,” but she emphasized that “there are so many factors that go into a business.”

The owner posted on Facebook around 4:00 p.m., writing that “The simple fact is that expenses have exceeded revenue to the point I can’t continue.” (read the complete entry below)

The future seems grim, putting to rest the day’s speculation.

“The future does not look bright but never say never,”Wyatt wrote. “If I can somehow turn this around, I will.”

“Thank you all for your support through the years,” he concluded.

“Fifty years is an awfully long run for a restaurant,” said Peifer. “It is a landmark restaurant and Richmond is losing a bit of history with losing Perly’s.”

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Hello my dear friends,

As you no doubt have heard, I have had to close Perlys. The simple fact is that expenses have exceeded revenue to the point I can’t continue. I have been fortunate to enjoy 29 years of meeting and feeding all you wonderful folks. I know I am disappointing a lot of people but frankly my options have been exhausted. And I am too. I apologize to my staff and others whose lives I have upset by allowing this to happen. The future does not look bright but never say never. If I can somehow turn this around, I will. Thank you all for your support through the years.

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